While searching for scientific articles related to (human) male ejaculation earlier this week, I stumbled upon an article about camel semen. Not being one to pass up new knowledge, I skimmed through the article’s abstract only to find that the researchers alluded to the fact that they used a “rubber funnel type of artificial vagina” to collect semen from male camels. Now, I study sex. And I also study what people do with sex toys such as vibrators and pocket pussies (male masturbation sleeves, in which human men insert their penis, rub it up and down, and then – in many cases – ejaculate). But a pocket pussy for camels?
Not being in animal or veterinary science, I had never heard of such a thing. I’m not one to make hump-related jokes, so I’ll leave that to you. But being a scientist who is fascinated with the world, I was intrigued. Of course, it makes sense that people who work with camels need to find mechanisms that allow them to collect semen to examine the health of a particular camel or to artificially inseminate a female camel (which, apparently, is what these semen collections are often used for).
I was curious to see what an artificial camel vagina would look like. Surely it wouldn’t be six inches of pink or purple rubber nor would it resemble an industrial sized flashlight (a la the Fleshlight) or a human porn star’s vulva. Right?
Right. Thanks to one article, I found images. Here they are:
Technology is amazing on several fronts:
a) Camel artificial vaginas even exist.
b) I can find this out via a Google Scholar search.
c) I can share this knowledge with readers via a blog.
Let’s get back to the artificial vagina now. Do you want to know how it’s used? I did too. Here’s what I learned:
1. I learned that the study in question was important because some “camel reproduction scientists” (wow, there is such a thing?) feared that the rubber used in camel artificial vaginas (AVs) was causing problems with camel sperm quality after collection (thus making artificial insemination challenging). These scientists sought to test if this was true.
2. Six camels aged 12-13 were part of the experiment. I’m not sure how old 12-13 is in camel years but they were referred to as “adults”. Semen collections occurred during January – March.
3. The camel artificial vaginas were 12 inches long! (In comparison, many human pocket pussies are about 6 inches long.)
4. The scientists chose NOT to add lubricant as apparently “camels secrete lots of pre ejaculate“ before putting their penis in the artificial vagina and thus provide adequate natural lubrication. [Ed. note: camel sex seems messy.]
5. Female camels were brought in, the male camels were “allowed to mount” them, at least two assistants were required at all times to help guide the male camel penis into the artificial vagina for semen collection (and to avoid the camel falling on top of the scientists), and “copulation time was recorded.” Oh, those scientists: they even timed camel sex.
6. The researchers found wide variability with how quickly the sperm moved (sperm motility) whether they ejaculated in the rubber part of the artificial vagina or into a glass tube at the end of the AV (see images above). They concluded that the rubber AV was not likely problematic for sperm but that scientists still had much to learn about camel sperm, which seem to move differently than that of cattle and buffalo.
I learned something new today. Did you?
Images via the following article:
Denna, A., Vvas, S., Jain, M., and Sahni, M.S. (2004). Explanation of no or low sperm motility in camel semen. Israel Journal of Veterinary Medicine, 59, 1-2.
* The researchers were located in Rajasthan, India.